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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Fair Warning

We Americans Are About to Get Revoked

This has been going around for a while, but I thought that, in honor of the Fourth of July, I would remind you of it.

John Cleese (Wikimedia)

It's the "Declaration of Revocation" (falsely) attributed to John Cleese, and it begins:

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:...

There then follow a variable number of points (depending on the version you find) that make sport of British/American cultural differences (in spelling, sports, food, and so on).

This is in fact not by Mr. Cleese; the Snopes article (linked above) has an excellent review, with notes on the piece's development, as well as a couple of pretty funny American responses: "Declaration of Annexing the British Isles as Part of the USA"; and a letter refusing their kind offer to revoke our independence: "After much deliberation, we have decided to continue our tradition as the longest running democratic republic. It seems that switching to a monarchy is in fact considered a 'backwards step' by the majority of the world."

Funniest line on the page? USA to UK: "P.S. -- Regarding WW2: You're Welcome."

What's this doing in this Journal? One of the most interesting repeated conversations I have had with my Chinese friends is about Anglo-American relations. They're surprised to know that it hasn't always been smooth sailing:

Question: What country is the only one to successfully set the White House and the Capitol building on fire?
Answer: Our friends, England!

Question: Who opposed the government in Washington and abetted the operation of an anti-U.S. "pirate ship" during the American Civil War?
Answer: Once again, the dear old British!

It's a lesson for us all: First we were one country, then bitter enemies, now the closest of friends. The fortunes of nations change, like the fortunes of men; allies become foes, and foes, allies; and no country rules this world forever.

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